Categories: Sermons

Meditate On This: The Holy Spirit as Comforter

Last Sunday, we discussed the Holy Spirit as counselor. As a counselor, the Holy Spirit provides guidance and discernment throughout our lives. It is important to remember that the Holy Spirit is with us always.

This week, the focus turned to the Holy Spirit as comforter. This is a specific element that Christ references in the Upper Room discourse that is found in the Gospel of John. In this, Jesus states that he will ask God the Father, “And he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever – the Spirit of Truth.” (John 14:16-17) The word that Jesus uses here is parakeltos, which means, “comforter or to come alongside.”

In the context of this passage, something powerful is happening. Jesus is informing this group of young men that he is about to leave them. We understand this because we know the story, but put yourself in their shoes. This is the man that they have given up everything to follow. They have entrusted everything to Jesus and now he is stating that he is leaving? This is what makes the Spirit’s presence as comforter so valuable to them and to us as well. In moments of weakness and doubt, we can feel the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives. When we need to know more than ever that we are not alone, the Holy Spirit is present.

For us today, the Holy Spirit as comforter is the equivalent to how the disciples viewed the physical Jesus: a presence of peace and comfort throughout all the challenges of life. In order to experience the Holy Spirit in this way, I believe that you first have to trust that Jesus is who he says he is. And second, you have to be willing to slow down enough to feel the peace and comfort that God alone can offer.